Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Our mission is to improving the health, education and food security of families in Indigenous and rural communities in Latin America. We seek to strengthen vulnerable families by serving women and children, with an emphasis on Indigenous peoples in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala and other rural, coffee-growing communities in Latin America through integrated, school-based health & education programs. Pueblo a Pueblo was founded on the belief that meaningful and sustainable change requires the commitment and active involvement of the individual, community or organization that will benefit from that change. Pueblo a Pueblo strives to deepen values such as personal responsibility, se...
Dec 20, 2013

Proud Graduates

A few of our graduates
A few of our graduates

In a region where less than half of the population finishes primary school, it’s a remarkable achievement to graduate the sixth grade. This is especially true in the current year as Roya – a coffee rust spreading across Latin America – continues to devastate the Guatemalan coffee harvest, forcing more and more families to take their children out of school and push them into the workforce.

In the case of Susana Gutierrez, one of our sponsored students, graduating the sixth grade was even harder than usual. Her mother died when she was a baby, leaving Susana alone with her older sister and mostly absent father. All of the family’s financial responsibilities – including the cost of Susana’s education – fell on her older sister, who worked selling handicrafts on the town’s main street.

At the end of fifth grade Susana dropped out of school to help her sister. She made bracelets and earrings to sell at the docks where tourists from towns around lake disembark for day trips through Santiago. On good days, she could make a few dollars to bring home to her sister; most of the time she came back tired and empty-handed.

Midway through the year, however, she decided she didn’t want to spend the rest of her life at the docks. She told her sister that she wanted to go back to school and her sister came to Pueblo a Pueblo to ask if Susana’s sponsor would be interested in renewing her support for Susana’s education. The sponsor agreed, and at the beginning of 2013 Susana started the sixth grade.

She graduated two weeks ago. Alone, Susana stands as a testament to a generation of children capable of making decisions that, while difficult in the short term, produce real dividends down the line. Together, she and her graduating classmates show the power of people the world over to come together and create lasting change in communities in need.

We’re so proud of what these graduates have accomplished. To all of you who have played a part, thanks so much for your generosity. It really has made a difference.

Graduation ceremony
Graduation ceremony
Susana Gutierrez
Susana Gutierrez
Dec 19, 2013

Dental Hygiene and Self Esteem at Summer Camp

Dr. Contreras teaches dental hygiene
Dr. Contreras teaches dental hygiene

The school year ended in Guatemala in mid-October, but our Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and Organic Gardens project teams have been hard at work running summer camp in several of our partners schools. The first two sessions were held in early November in elementary schools in Tzanchaj and Pacoc.

To help organize a series of WASH activities, we enlisted the generous guidance of several local health professionals. Dr. Jose Contreras Alegria, a local dentist, gave a wonderful presentation on the importance of dental health and hygiene.  He talked about how to brush your teeth properly, the basics of mouth anatomy, and why eating well and brushing your teeth regularly contribute to a healthy body and mind.  At the end of his presentation, Dr. Contreras gave every student two toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Psychologist Danila Salvador talked with the children about the importance of self-esteem. Together they listed the characteristics of a person with good self-esteem and a person with poor self-esteem, and then the children separated into groups and talked to each other about why self-esteem was important in school. At the end of the session they presented their ideas and questions to the rest of the group. 

After both presentations the children played health and hygiene-related games and prepared to bring this new, healthy knowledge home to their siblings and parents.

The third and fourth sessions of camp are taking place now in elementary schools in La Cumbre and Totolya.  For WASH activities, we have invited psychologist Ruth Juracán from Santiago’s Health Center to discuss self-esteem and school bullying, and nurse Araceli Rodriguez from San Lucas Health Center to present on basic health and hygiene and common illnesses around Lake Atitlan. 

We are so excited that our students are learning AND having fun this summer vacation. Stay tuned for updates and, as always, thank you for helping Pueblo a Pueblo make these summer programs possible!

Each student received a toothbrush and toothpaste
Each student received a toothbrush and toothpaste
Danila Salvador presents on self-esteem
Danila Salvador presents on self-esteem
Dec 4, 2013

Summer Vacation in the Garden

This past month Pueblo a Pueblo launched its second annual summer vacation Garden Camp.  By the end of December, more than 100 students in four partner schools will have explored the wonders of organic gardening and learned about issues like biodiversity, organic versus inorganic waste, the effect of chemicals on the environment, and the identification of common plants.

To keep campers engaged with the issues, our team has put together lots of interactive, hands-on activities, including painting, building scarecrows, and creating team posters and songs that the campers can present each day. “In contrast to conventional teaching practices in Guatemala, experiential learning lets students be creative and independent, which gives them a better grasp of the topics at hand,” says Tina, our school health and nutrition project manager.

And this year there’s an added surprise: cooking classes! We’ve partnered with Guatemala’s department of agriculture to lead sessions on how to make healthy recipes with ingredients that are easily affordable for local families — ingredients you can grow in an organic garden! A government-sponsored educator joins each school for three days, helping different teams of campers prepare nutritious lunches for the whole camp. As a result, children learn not only the importance of nutritionally beneficial food, but also artistry and creativity that can so easily be incorporated into cooking.  

Imagine preparing dishes like The Boat Adventurer — a baked güisquil hull filled with carrots, radishes, and green beans, with a triangle piece of tortilla for the sail – or the Fun Family of Chard, a compilation of delicious carrot and chili mashed potato bodies with smiling potato and carrot faces, sleeping under a blanket of cooked chard.  “We’re especially excited about these classes because they’re breaking down the strong gender barriers that you often see in Santiago,” says Monika, our Organic School Gardens project intern. “In the morning, boys were saying they didn’t want to participate because cooking is for girls, but by afternoon they were chopping, cooking, and really enjoying themselves.”

To share all the amazing things the children have been learning and creating over the past few weeks, we’ve invited parents to the last day of camp. We hope this will give campers the chance to pass on to their entire families the important lessons they’ve learned and delicious recipes they’ve tried at this year’s Garden Camp.

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